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More ski resorts going to RFID

marzNC

Angel Diva
#1
Intrawest is putting RFID gates on the main lifts at Steamboat for the 2015-16 season. Also using RFID at Winter Park. The online FAQ is pretty comprehensive. Never thought about the idea that the EZPass/iPass for roadways tolls are based on the same technology.

Does your home mountain use RFID?

* * * a few Q&A
Q: Which lifts have RFID Access? [Steamboat starting 2015-16]
Answer: RFID access is available in Steamboat at the gondola, Christie Peak Express, Preview and Thunderhead Express chairlifts and the Zephyr Express, Arrow, Gemini Express, Challenger and Super Gauge Express chairlifts at Winter Park/Mary Jane. In addition, hand-held scanners will be utilized at select lifts, such as Steamboat’s Christie III, when operational and for some special events.

Q: How widely used is RFID technology?
Answer: RFID technology is used in a wide variety of industries and applications. Recently, RFID has been added to some state driver licenses and passports. RFID has also been used extensively in toll collection, inventory control, building security, and library systems.

Q: Did resorts eliminate lift ticket checkers by installing the RFID system?
Answer: No, we simply replaced the hand held scanner with RFID gates. We will have the same lift ticket checkers to provide guest service at the gates. Staffing levels will remain similar to previous years.
 

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
#2
Okemo in Vermont is going to RFID, too. This is a big change, since they never had the hand held scanners -- just plain, regular lift tickets.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#3
Jackson Hole moved to RFID after becoming part of the Mountain Collective Pass. My impression was that there was definitely a learning curve the first season.

What I can't understand is why Snowbird hasn't gone to RFID yet. Alta and Solitude have been using RFID for quite a few years. I hoped that when Snowbird joined the MCP, gates would get installed. It's a pain to have to show the MCP pass at Snowbird instead of being able to leave it in a pocket. Although when it's busy, they only check the tram consistently.
 

Kimmyt

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#4
Oh cool. I am always having to fish my pass out and its annoying. Does anyone know if Copper is using it?
 

mustski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#6
Mammoth has used it for quite a few years. I was hopeful that when they bought Big Bear, they would convert it over. Currently, that is not in the plan. At least this year, the Cali4nia pass will have all 4 mountains on one season pass. Last year, we had 2 separate passes.
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
#7
Tremblant has this for their "montangard" pass. These are the Intrawest property holders or anyone that wants to pay $500 extra. There is a special gate that has to be used for the reader.
 

KatyPerrey

PSIA 3 Children's Specialist 2 Keystone Resort
#8
Copper used it for the instructors the last couple of seasons on a trial basis but wasn't used everyday. Strange! The staff never new what days it would be used. My friends said it was a pain. From what they say it's super expensive and they would still need the checkers at the base lifts. I would love to see it at Copper!!
 

eclaire

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#11
My home mountain, Ragged, had it for a couple of years and it was such a disaster they ditched it. We were repeatedly getting stuck at the gates that wouldn't open - so frustrating! It's too bad that it seemed better in theory and in practice.
 

bounceswoosh

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#12
My home mountain, Ragged, had it for a couple of years and it was such a disaster they ditched it. We were repeatedly getting stuck at the gates that wouldn't open - so frustrating! It's too bad that it seemed better in theory and in practice.
I wonder why. It's worked fine at Vail Resorts. Of course, they have a stupid-big budget to make it work.
 

KatyPerrey

PSIA 3 Children's Specialist 2 Keystone Resort
#13
I wonder why. It's worked fine at Vail Resorts. Of course, they have a stupid-big budget to make it work.
Vail Resorts (in Colorado) don't use gates they use ticket checkers. One reason it works so well.
 

bounceswoosh

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#14
Vail Resorts (in Colorado) don't use gates they use ticket checkers. One reason it works so well.
Oh, duh. Completely right, of course. When there's an issue - I couldn't tell you if it's the scanner or the card that's in error - they can pull that person aside and continue scanning the rest of the horde.

But, I guess that is sort of the money thing - they are paying a number of people to be out there every day, rather than trying to use RFID gates to save money on personnel. Not that they pay *much*, but ...
 
#15
Alta has had RFID for several years. Generally works fine. There are lifties right there to help people who have trouble getting their pass in the right place. Definitely a pain in comparison when had to show a ticket/pass manually at Snowbird on a day I make use of a combo pass to ski both.
 

altagirl

Moderator
Staff member
#16
Alta has had RFID for several years. Generally works fine. There are lifties right there to help people who have trouble getting their pass in the right place. Definitely a pain in comparison when had to show a ticket/pass manually at Snowbird on a day I make use of a combo pass to ski both.
Yeah, every time we go to the Bird we're like "what's wrong with these old-school lift lines that take forever with people getting scanned and having to find your pass to scan or having to deal with it flopping around...." Hah. It's actually fairly funny to think of Alta as the place for advanced technology.

And I also agree that there are always a handful of people in the mornings who can't figure out the RFID card, but the lifties pull them aside quickly to explain "put it in a pocket by itself, not with your cell phone, not in your wallet, yada yada..." If you do that, it's pretty foolproof. Well, assuming you actually HAVE a valid pass. Go figure.
 
#17
I won't buy a ski jacket without a sleeve pocket for a RFID pass any more. The only tricky part is to remember to move the pass when you change jackets during late season skiing when temps can vary enough to want an insulated jacket one day and a shell the next day.
 
#18
:bump:

Has your favorite ski resort moved to RFID since 2015? Snowbird finally got the gates installed.

Apparently there are over 1500 ski resorts worldwide that use RFID for lift access. The U.S. is a bit behind. But the former Intrawest ski resorts and Vail were very much interested in adding them. Not only for guest convenience, but also to get better statistics.

RFID is not just for large destination resorts. Snow King in Jackson is installing RFID. Jiminy Peak and Wachusett in MA have had RFID for a while.
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
#19
Actually Tremblant does have a version of this. The Ski School and local owners have a special gate that they can go through that is RFID. I suppose if you've just spent $million on a condo, it's a perk. Or you can pay for the privilege too.

I'm really waiting to see what KSL does to Intrawest. Can't get worst I hope.
 
#20
Not all of these are new for 2017-18, but here are some places in the northeast that will have RFID this season. Anyone remember when Vail started EpicMix based on having RFID at Vail and their other resorts? Clearly other ski resorts are starting to think that having data on their guests is worthwhile.

* Mountain Creek, NJ
* Sunapee, NH
* Smuggler's Notch, VT
* Sugarbush, VT
* Bromont, QUE

SKIDATA is an Austrian company that has been installing RFID systems all over the world for a variety of facilities. They started with lift ticket technology (not RFID) back in the 1970s for ski resorts and moved into other type of facilities such as airport parking lots over the years. Panorama in Canada, Snow King in Jackson, and Bromont in Québec are new SKIDATA clients this season.

Mountain Pass Systems is a relatively small American company based in Long Island, NY that installs RFID systems. It was founded in 2005. Killington and Sunday River used Mountain Pass.

Apparently Mountain Pass has two versions. Can have a gate or gateless as shown in the SR video.

RFID gate at Sunday River in ME
 
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